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Senator Tester’s VA Legislative Agenda

 As a leading member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Tester has introduced a bill
that will clarify and strengthen the role of the VA’s Office of Medical Inspector, and
ensures it is actively investigating access to care issues, including waiting lists. This bill
will also make the Inspector’s reports public for the first time

 As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Tester is allocating $5 million for the VA
Inspector General to investigate facilities across the country.

 Tester has introduced language that prohibits payments of performance bonuses to VA
medical directors until the IG investigation is complete.

 Tester is supporting Appropriations language that allocates additional funding for the
Department of Justice to investigate any criminal wrongdoing at the VA.
 Tester has introduced legislation to provide the VA with more flexibility to recruit and
retain medical professionals by removing the cap for student loan repayments and
reauthorizing a program that allows VA to provide tuition assistance for students
pursing employment with VA.

 Tester has introduced legislation to bring more Mental Health Counselors and Marriage
and Family Therapists into the VA mental health workforce.

 As Chairman of the Senate subcommittee on the federal workforce, Tester held a
hearing on morale issues among federal employees. In the wake of the hearing, he is
looking at legislation that will address the challenges of recruiting, retaining and
deploying a quality VA health care workforce.

 Tester is working on legislation to ensure the VA has the tools and flexibility it needs to
hold employees accountable while protecting due process and employee rights.

 Tester is pushing the VA to expand upon Project ARCH, a program that has been
tremendously successful in connecting Montana veterans to timely and quality care.

 Tester is pushing the VA to build more partnerships with rural providers so in the
absence of timely care from the VA, veterans can seek care closer to home.